CERVECERÍA CRUZ BLANCA | 904 WEST RANDOLPH ST | CHICAGO | 312-733-1975
LOCATION AND HOURS
904 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607-2208
Tuesday-Thursday: 11a.m-11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m.-midnight
Sunday: 11 a.m-9 p.m.
New World Craft
Cruz Blanca makes new world interpretations of classic German, Austrian, and French styles of beer, much like the beers that blossomed throughout Mexico City in the 1860s.
Look for German pilsners and Vienna lagers, German Berliner Weisse, wiessbier, lactic acidic beers and French style Bieres de Garde, as well as a few contemporary American styles utilizing traditional Mexican and locally sourced ingredients.
Download menus in Acrobat PDF format:
Rick and Deann Bayless, Proprietors
Jacob Sembrano, Brewmaster | Lisa and Fred Despres, Chefs
Cruz Blanca’s taquería takes its inspiration from the “smoke alley” at Oaxaca’s Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where thick plumes of smoke foretell the primal pleasures of wood-grilled meats.
Here, you’ll walk up and choose your main attraction —half-cured flank tasajo, red chile pork cecina, chorizo, chicken or portobello— and our taqueros will pile it all on a big beer tray with accompaniments of wood-grilled knob onions and peppers, smoky Oaxacan pasilla salsa, avocado salsa, crunchy pico de gallo, grilled nopal cactus and limey cucumbers.
And, of course, a big stack of fresh-made tortillas.
Download menus in Acrobat PDF format:
ABOUT CRUZ BLANCA CERVECERÍA
European Tradition. Local Focus. Mexican Style.
Emil Dercher, a brewer working in the great Alstatian technique of bottle-conditioning and using local botanicals, left France and made his way to Mexico City, where he sold beers under the Cruz Blanca label. It’s in that same adventurous spirit that we’ve reestablished Cruz Blanca Cervecería in Chicago.
Cruz Blanca is a place to settle in and sample craft beers made in that European tradition — Bieres de Garde and many more—with a Mexican touch, all expressed with local ingredients. Think malts, honey and botanicals all procured in and around Chicago.
Bienvenidos y Gracias
Passionate exploration of Mexico’s spirited flavors and warm hospitality has led to the culmination of this exciting project: the opening of Cruz Blanca Cervecería & Taquería. As we proudly tap the first of many brews to come, we express our heartfelt gratitude to our industry friends who have offered their counsel, support and enthusiastic collaboration. We raise our glasses high in sincere appreciation of Perennial Artisan Ales, Revolution Brewing, Penrose Brewing Co., Goose Island Beer Co, Half Acre Beer Co., Hopleaf, Moody Tongue, Off Color Brewing, Three Floyds Brewing Company and Virtue Cider.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Jacob is a former fast food cook, cheesemonger, line cook and sous chef in various snout-to-tail restaurants. After leaving The Bristol in Chicago, where he worked as a cook, Jacob began brewing beer at Goose Island Clybourn and became the head brewer. At Cruz Blanca, he says his responsibility is creating beer with a meaning and an inspiration behind it.
The diversity of Mexican cuisine and richness of the culture drew Sarah to Chicago from the east coast, where she worked at Oyamel and Cosme, two of the country’s best Mexican restaurants. Here at Leña and Cruz Blanca, she says, guests will be surprised and delighted by the cuisine of Baja, the smoke-tinged tacos, inventive craft beer and the abundance of mezcal.
Glenn worked at his family’s restaurant for 10 years – the Moon Palace, home of Chicago’s most delicious soup dumplings. After culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu and an apprenticeship for Giuseppe Tentori, Glenn started working for Rick Bayless at Xoco. Now Glenn brings his passion for fire and ice to Leña Brava and Cruz Blanca.
FRED and LISA DESPRES
A scholastic athlete and classically trained violinist, Fred found his true calling after enrolling at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris, then began working in renowned seafood restaurants. After helping to run the kitchen at Chicago’s Takashi, he became the chef at Arami, where he met Lisa.
A leading presence in the kitchens at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo for years, Lisa is well-versed in the art of Mexican cuisine, both rustic and refined.
Lisa literally grew up in a bed & breakfast, so hospitality has always been part of her life. She’s a huge supporter of Chicago’s craft beer community — she spent years managing Goose Island’s Clybourn Brewpub — and it’s her mission to introduce the city to the magical pairing of Bieres de Garde and Oaxacan tacos.
Pairing beer with food is literally Matt Morin’s favorite thing in the world. Nearing his certification as a cicerone, Matt is the mastermind behind Xoco Wicker Park’s craft beer program. Now he’ll help run the suds on Randolph Street, where his favorite beer (so far) is Emil, the special 750ML bottle available at Leña.
Pepitas worked his way up at Frontera Grill from dishwasher, to making the salsas, to grilling over live fire…and played soccer every Sunday. Through his ten years at the company, Pepitas has lead by example with hard work, sense of humor and an infectious smile. Now he has stepped into a leadership role at Cruz and we are all excited to eat his food!
ASSISTANT BREWER & MANAGER
Todd met the love of his life, who currently works for Goose Island, over beers in his native Australia. After getting married, they both found work at a West Coast (of the USA) brewery. Now in Chicago, Todd has become Cruz Blanca’s jack-of-all-trades. Whether it’s crafting brews with Jacob, managing the floor or manning a bar, there’s guaranteed to be “warm smiles and cold beers.”